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Bullshit (ISO 4217 currency code: BS) is a monetary unit used throughout the world. It is not the currency of any one nation, but rather is the de facto medium of exchange for bureaucratic organizations worldwide. While this is bullshit's officially designated function, it is more commonly and informally used by lesser institutions and private citizens. Also, it's just bullshit. Corporations use bullshit to hide the fact that we are all living in a matrix, and that the red dragon will eventually take over.
Although the word "bullshit" is generally used as the catch-all term for the currency, it has many vaguely-defined denominations, including bull, crap, bullcrap, horseshit, and poppycock (an archaic term used only by old coots and British people).
Bullshit is often confused with bollocks, but there are significant differences that are easily identified in the field. Bullshit is stuff that is known by the bullshitter to be untrue, brazenly spouted to enhance his status without any reference to legality, decency, honesty or truthfulness. Bollocks is stuff that emanates from people who don't know any better. They don't care if it's true, but they may well believe that it is. The conscientious listener should therefore take care as to whether to perceive the offender of bullshitting or of talking bollocks.
A useful generic term is 'crap'. It is always correct to challenge crap as being crap, whether it is delivered knowingly or otherwise. A more careful analysis is required before the precise nature of the crap can be identified. This is important because you may wish to employ bullshit spray as a defence, but its use against bollocks may devalue it for genuine cases of bullshit. As with antibiotics in the biomedical field, experts fear that overuse of bullshit repellent may encourage the development of resistant strains of bullshit, rendering us all open to untreatable infestations in the future.
Since bullshit can be produced verbally, it costs nothing to manufacture and can be generated (potentially) in vast quantities. However, bullshit is costly because it derives its value as a medium of exchange. It is divisible, fungible, has a near-constant exchange rate, and readily lends itself to a wide array of industrial and commercial uses. Thus, bullshit is the most widely traded commodity in existence.
Bullshit comes from authorized bullshitters - or from bullshitters who pretend to be authorized - who can produce as much as they deem necessary. Excessive bullshit can result in inflation; too much bullshit will begin to decline in value, and the producer loses credibility. Thus all producers must distribute their currency prudently, lest the weight of their bullshit cause its value to plummet.
Anyone who can lie effectively is capable of using bullshit. Since it is an abstract form of currency, it is used to "buy" abstract things. For instance, a child can tell their parents that they are almost done with their school project and ask for some free time, even though they haven't even started yet. If their bullshit is of a high enough quality, then they can "purchase" some undeserved leisure and get away with it. Bullshit is also exchanged in the dirty world, like hookers, adult toys, and such.
This basic practice is the same whether you are a small child or the president of a large country. If a person with strong bullshit production skills finds himself in a sticky situation, all he has to do is expend some bullshit to buy his way out. This is why most bullshitters find a career in politics.
It is actually very natural for politicians to have bullshit come out of their mouths as they are usually willing to eat shit to get elected in the first place.
Bullshit has undergone a long and torturous evolution in becoming the universal currency it is today, accounting for most of of the world's transactions. Now that the nature of bullshit has been established, let's explore how it arrived at that point.
edit Very distant past
Studies of embryonic development suggests that the origin of bullshit may go back to the first vertebrates. Vertebrate embryos undergo a reversal compared to invertebrate embryos, so that the vertebrate mouth corresponds to the invertebrate ass. This means that vertebrates are preadapted for talking shit. Some have suggested that this renders even the most rudimentary bullshit a vertebrate monopoly, and that it may explain why octopuses live solitary lives while ant queens only lay eggs and have no political power in their ant colonies. This model remains controversial however.
Human beings were not the first creatures to discover the value of bullshit. In fact, anthropologists have found that our simian ancestors were well-versed in the use of this vital commodity long before humans ever existed. Of course, their practices were not nearly as refined as ours are today. Millions of years ago, bullshitting meant literally throwing feces at one's enemies in order to drive them away. As time passed, this primitive behavior evolved into a form of bartering, as fellow monkeys began trading the valued deterrant for other goods. Thus was the first form of money invented.
However, before the rise of the first governments and the evolution of "real" humans, some of the monkeys had replaced the bullshit-throwing with club-swinging into each other's heads. They became the cavemen.
edit Early civilization
As these monkeys evolved into early humans, the art of bullshitting evolved with them. An important development in this evolution was the rise of the first governments. Whenever a king or an emperor came to power, his rule was absolute. He could order his subjects and create laws according to his whims. One common way of reinforcing this sense of importance was by paying with bullshit. A despot could walk up to a merchant, take anything he wanted from his shop, and sarcastically pay for the looting with a fresh pile from the royal stables rather than a bag of gold coins. Over time this pattern of leaders "bullshitting" their way through life became ingrained in the popular consciousness.
But while the proper humans could gather huge lumps of bullshit, the cavemen could only carry one or two clubs. That is why the cavemen died out, they could not form governments. However, the cavemen did interbreed with real human before going extinct, so the instinct of hitting each other in the head with clubs did survive.
edit Middle Ages
This practice continued until the 14th century. At this time, bullshitting had reached its height in Europe. Every monarch had their own army of peasants out in the countryside, shoveling heap after heap of the stuff into wagons, to be used purely for the pleasure of the ruler. Things were going along swimmingly (for the rulers, at least). Then the Black Plague hit. Hordes of flies and rats, attracted to the ridiculous amounts of bullshit festering on the continent, spread the infectious disease far and wide. Once Europe finally recovered, people realized that it was unwise to handle large amounts of bullshit regularly, no matter how witty it made their rulers feel.
The devastation wrought by the Plague forced a major change in the way bullshit was employed. No longer could people handle the real thing; it was far too dangerous. Yet it had been a part of human civilization far too long for everyone to just give it up. So, gradually, people began rethinking the nature of their bullshit. Soon the leaders of Europe hit upon the idea of verbalizing it. Now instead of having to buy enough bulls to generate enough stinking waste to use regularly, all they had to do was think up its equivalent in stinking lies. Instead of a despot sarcastically paying for stolen goods with a pile of fertilizer, he simply had to provide a workable line such as the check is in the mail. "Bullshit," the victim would reply. "Exactly," the despot would answer with a wicked grin.
But this new practice had a fatal flaw: anyone who could speak could now bullshit as successfully as King Henry VIII himself. A royal stable and an army of serfs was no longer required; and so the practice of bullshitting spread to all walks of life, becoming a form of currency among the common people. If your bullshit was good enough, you could "buy" your way out of almost any situation. Eventually, some people became so adept at bullshitting that they acquired great prestige and power. This paradigm shift marked the beginning of the transition from absolute monarchy to representative democracy. During that process, the instinctive use of clubs as weapons evolved into the use of judge clubs in courts of law, and so was rule by law born.
edit The Modern Era
Governments create economic and social systems that are dependent on bullshit to operate; without it, the world's systems would inevitably fail. Capitalism is a governmental form in which every person is allowed to make and use their own bullshit. Communism is a governmental form in which nobody's bullshit is their own, and everyone must use the same bullshit whether there is enough to go around or not. Fascism purports to advocate a bullshit exchange model where bullshit is only traded within the country and never between countries, though in practice they violate this themselves by importing and exporting some of their bullshit anyway.
Anarchists are a special case - they cannot recognize their own bullshit, so they do not realize it can be exchanged. Without an economic model for bullshit use they cannot form a governmental model. This is why there are no anarchist governments.
When neanderthal DNA was discovered in humans from Europe and Asia but not in those from Africa, some scientists assumed that rule by law never caught on in Africa simply because black people, being pure humans with no caveman ancestry, lacked the instinct to swing clubs and could thus not swing clubs in courts of law either. Other scientists, however, had seen black people using sticks, iron bars and bottles as weapons to hit people in their heads with, and thus rejected the racial theory. A debate ensued, until it was discovered that black people had a history of sex with cavemen, just of a non-neanderthal strain. It is therefore now generally agreed that black people are just as capable of rule by law as the rest of us.
edit Bullshit and Modern Romance
Bullshit has had vast implications for relationships between men and women. Bullshit-as-currency has improved with technology and liberalization, making the BS-friendly profession of prostitution ever more lucrative. For eons, human and simian males have been willing and able to lie in order to get sex. But with the proliferation of dance clubs and better communication methods, most modern prostitution takes the form of dating relationships in which each party tries to discharge as much bullshit as possible.
Men substitute bullshit for money by exaggerating their wealth or professing love. Women have far more ways to substitute bullshit for sex - revealing clothes, provocative dancing, marriage, and laments about menstruation (which actually facilitates intercourse rather than preventing it) are used to convince a man that there will be sex later as long as the money keeps flowing. The most experienced prostitutes are also the most experienced bullshit artists, even developing investment strategies. With small down payments of sex and bullshit, a woman can build a child support portfolio with as many 18-year cash annuities as she likes.
Hip-hop artists, many of whom make vast sums of money in exchange for nothing but bullshit, do so largely by producing instructional videos on the use of BS in prostitution with songs such as Gold Digger. This is evidenced by the fact that virtually all women in hip-hop are referred to both by themselves and by men as hos. In the bedroom they are better known as panty hos.
edit The Philosophical Origins of Bullshit
Bullshit (Greek: Bullos Shiti), in philosophy, is defined as “the process by which humans consciously evaluate their subconscious conscience.” This definition, however, renders the word bullshit an alternate term for Philosophy. Semantics aside, bullshit has been of great importance to the development and understanding of human wisdom and, for this reason, has become a field of study in many modern universities, including Oxford and Princeton. Philosophical thinkers have been debating the ethical implications of bullshit since the Dawn of Man, but it wasn’t until the time of Plato that Earth was blessed with intelligible analysis of bullshit.
Plato's Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Bullshit of Nations was groundbreaking in that, for the first time in History, a human being , Plato, had consciously evaluated the conscious evaluation of the subconscious conscience. Plato’s manifesto became a bestseller during the Dumbfucken Ages of Europe, when copies of the book could be found in most household WCs for use as toilet paper. As a result of this practice, there are no remaining copies of the Bullshit of Nations. The Dumbfucken Ages of European history proved to be a major obstacle to the proliferation of philosophical bullshit as rather than applying the material of books to their life, as was intended by the authors, people began carrying out the more obvious and necessary task of applying the material to their ass.
Only an audio book remains until this day, as it was recorded just weeks before Plato's death and immediately sent to the Library of Congress to be stored indefinitely, unless otherwise ordered by the President of the United States. It should be noted that the Library of Congress once possessed all remaining physical copies of the manifesto until, tragically, they were once again utilized as toilet paper during the fucked-up years of the Great Depression.
edit Digital Bullshit
It doesn't have to compute! The explosion of computer technology has truly shown that bullshit can come in any denomination or amount one wishes to spend, and has even given BS a life of its own. Computers allow information to take any form one can imagine, and where there is information there is bullshit.
Microsoft was the first company to exchange large amounts of bullshit in lieu of actual programming. Its Windows operating systems have expertly blended bullshit with enough usable code that users think they are getting their money's worth. Even when users know they are getting BS, they often find that they can reuse or expand on it. Independent programmers have used the Windows operating system as the base for thousands of software titles composed of bullshit, and end users know all too well that programs such as PowerPoint and Word can be used to generate new bullshit. End users are not wholly defenseless against Microsoft, however. BS exchange services such as KaZaA allow users to obtain it for free, even if they have to use password crackers to bullshit their way into the programs they download.
The internet, with its combination of fluid content, uncontent and instant access, has truly allowed mankind to master the use of BS as currency. The nation of Nigeria barely produces anything tangible, but with the use of internet scams has turned bullshit into its largest source of revenue. Vatican City was the first country to realize that bullshit could be a nation's sole industry, but Nigeria has focused on ease of use. So-called '419' scammers need only exchange bullshit via e-mail for bank account numbers. As human stupidity is a constant (a quality essential in all bullshitting), this offers a fixed rate of exchange for turning BS into gold more easily than any alchemist could have dreamed. Hackers and computer virus authors have taken immediately to the more exciting possibilities of the internet, creating bullshit which can not only be used for material gain but to take control of other people's BS as well.
edit Digital Bullshit Analysis
The explosion of the information highway and new technology has not only allowed a massive amount of bullshit to be available on-line at the click of a mouse, but analysis techniques have allowed the degree of bullshitness to be evaluated easily. However, given the subjective origins of these analysis methods, the results can be varied. Some argue that these results are, indeed, just as bullshit as the bullshit itself.
There are four main analysis methods in the English speaking world:
- "Blair Analysis System, Text And Recognition Device" - usually referred to by its acronym B.A.S.T.A.R.D. - developed in the late 1990s by the Labour government's top secret think tank called Sound-Bite 2. Ratings are as a percentage: 0% (no BS) to 100% (total BS).
- "Cameron Unified Normalised Text" - also referred to by its acronym - created in a single evening with Boris Johnson after 12 pints and a vindaloo. Uses same scale as above.
- "Bush Oral Lexicon Language Optimized Checking System" - known as "Thingy" (as B.O.L.L.O.C.K.S. is not a word in the USA; there, most people may think you're talking about Sandra Bullock). Scale of 0 to 10.
- "Windows Xpert Proofreader" - known as Win(dows) XP. Can be used without the built-in firewall to tolerate high level of BS or with the firewall to, errr, tolerate high level of BS.
The old Australian Standard System (A.S.S) which used a percentage rating (as the first two) has fallen into disuse as it automatically rated everything of UK/US origin as 100% and all Oz text as being "Bonza".
Examples of relevant score for sample texts is shown below:
|Text Being Analysed||Origin||B.A.S.T.A.R.D.||C.U.N.T.||Thingy||win XP||Note|
|Now is not the time for sound-bites. I can feel the hand of history on my shoulder||Tony Blair||1%||99%||E+||StopError: 690004356272||1|
|Conservative Party is in it for everybody - not just the rich||David Cameron||100%||1%||Err||Page Fault||2|
|She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child||George W Bush||10%||25%||Happy||Evaluation License Expired||3|
1. Rated by B.A.S.T.A.R.D. as a mild 1% (for the use of the full-stop and not a hyphen).
2. Rated by C.U.N.T. as 1% as he said party with a capital "P" and not a lowercase case "p" as intended by the speechwriters used to indicate a jolly good time.
3. Rated by everyone as total BS and Bollocks - but downrated after applying the "Country We Don't Want Piss Piss Off" constant (normally indicated by the Greek letter Crapton (δ)).
edit Bullshit occupations
With improvements in communications, BS production has become a profession in and of itself. Types of modern professional bullshit artists include:
- Politicians: people who use bullshit to buy political power. Their bullshit production may be outsourced to spin doctors or lobbyists.
- Telemarketers: who use the phone to sell a combination of products, company-produced bullshit, and their own improvised bullshit.
- Military recruiters: who are paid to deliver government-produced bullshit to prospective recruits.
- Public relations firms: companies to which other corporations can outsource vital bullshit production.
- Exotic dancers: prostitutes who usually substitute bullshit for sex, aided by working in a bullshit factory called a strip club. The willingness on the part of johns to pay for this BS is aided by serving alcohol. But there are some strip clubs willing to substitute alcohol with juice - bullshit for alcohol.
- Professional poker players: people who use carefully tuned bullshit to win card games, and show spectators how it's done.
- Lawyers: similar to politicians or PR executives, these creatures take existing bullshit such as the law or a 'not guilty' plea and mix it with their own brand of bullshit known as "sophistry." They are paid bullshit-production fees by clients or the state, or can use BS to convince a court to pay civil damages to their client (who is then bullshitted out of the proceeds). Because bullshit is used within all fields of law by both defense attorneys and prosecutors, jurors know that both sides are using bullshit and simply choose the most creative BS. This freedom of expression has made true content-free bullshit an art form at which anyone can be a Rembrandt.
edit The Future
What might be, hundreds or thousands of years from now, is the subject of the genre called science fiction. Of all science fiction, none better depicts the potential of bullshit to shape the future than Star Trek. It depicts a future in which nobody is poor because money has been entirely replaced by bullshit. Federation science has discovered that laws of physics such as relativity, gravity, and conservation of energy are all BS. This allows for technologies which undo these laws merely by creating neo-bullshit such as inertial dampers, warp coils, subspace, and replicators (capable of turning a pocket watch into a food ration if needed). If it is found that a machine does not have enough bullshit to counter the laws of physics, it must be modified. Treknology can be outfitted with new bullshit simply by being within earshot of phrases such as temporal flux, reverse the polarity, and remodulate the field coils. New particles or substances can be created using bullshit descriptions. There are even characters physically composed of nothing but the finest BS, such as the android Data whose batteries "recharge themselves."
Think this doesn't matter because none of it is real? The proof is in the bullshit. The writers of Star Trek have shown their understanding of BS by their ability to exchange it for cash even though they're not producing it anymore. They present all of their bullshit as fiction, yet many fans buy Klingon dictionaries and technical manuals to familiarize themselves with the BS needed to live in the Star Trek universe.
The future of bullshit is as limitless as human imagination and as boundless as human stupidity. As long as there are enough clever bullshitters in the world, and enough gullible idiots to accept their currency, then BS will always have value. This is possible because bullshit parallels the spread of human language. Wherever any form of communication is possible, whether it be face-to-face, televised, on the Internet, or in some form that we can't possibly imagine, there will always be a place for bullshit to thrive. You can count on it.